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Minn. AM Station Knocked Off by Fire

Police officer noticed and knocked on a window

A Minnesota AM station was knocked off the air Friday by a fire.

KMHL in Marshall, heard on 1400 kHz as well as an FM translator, reported on its website that the Marshall Police Department had noticed smoke rising behind the station building. The fire department responded quickly and put the fire out, but the AM signal was taken off the air and was expected to remain off until sometime this week. The photo shown here is from the station website.

“The tower was recently under construction and additions of the FM translator which was completed yesterday,” the station wrote. “KMHL(AM) at 1400 kHz will be off the air until repairs can be completed. … KMHL’s FM translator at 101.7 FM will continue to broadcast as normal. Listeners are encouraged to tune in on FM.”

According to a weekend report in the Marshall Independent newspaper, the blaze had been noticed by a police officer, who found the door locked but was able to get the attention of employees by tapping on a window. The paper quoted station Manager Brad Strootman saying he believed the fire was electrical in nature and estimated the damage at less than $5,000.

The station carries news, information and agriculture; it’s the oldest of five in the Marshall Radio family, having been founded in 1946 by Harry Linder & Sons.

According to, the company already has a local FM signal off the air thanks to a 2015 windstorm; that signal is being heard on another frequency.